BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:05 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been relatively busy in the Al-Raqqa countryside this week, attacking several villages under the control of the Islamic State (ISIL) forces.

Within 48 hours of launching their assault, the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces liberated the 15+ villages in Al-Raqqa, while also capturing the strategic Rusafa Oil Fields near an important junction along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway.

However, despite this massive advance in the Al-Raqqa Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army is not ready to push east.

The reason the Syrian Arab Army is not pushing east has to do with the current situation near the Khanasser Highway; this road is the government’s only supply route to the Aleppo Governorate.

Before they can push deeper into the Al-Raqqa Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army will have clear the Islamic State’s last pocket between the Raqqa, Hama, and Aleppo governorates.

Once this pocket is cleared, the Syrian Arab Army will have more than one supply route to the Aleppo Governorate and they will have secured the Khanasser Highay.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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I beg to disagree with the strategy here. I consider the rush of the tiger forces East towards Raqqa city proper from the south as a top priority while another contingent will simply close the pocket turning it into a full encirclement to preven ISIS from its supply route. The Syrian Arab Army has dominance over the sky and so can afford such a strategy. If the SAA did not have dominance in the air, then yes, such a strategy as outlined by your correspondent would have to be adopted out of necessity. Another thing I cannot understand is why… Read more »
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MORE THEN RAQQA CITY IS MOST IMPORTANT TIGER FORCE TO LINK UP WITH SAA ON THE PALMAYRA OR MOVE TO CONNECT TO KHANESSAR HIGHWAY FIRST THEN MOVE TO NORTH TO LINK UP SAA SO IT CAN CUT OFF ISIL IN HOMS AND HAMA FROM DIER ZOR AND RAQQA GOVERNATE. IT WILL FASTER FFROM ALL SIDE BCUZ LIKE THIS THOUSAND OF SOLDIER WILL BE FREED UP. AND CAN MOVE FURTHER EAST MUCH FASTER.IF TIGER FORCE GO ALONE TOWARDS RAQQA CITY THEY WILL BE IN PROBLEM IN ALLEPPO BCUZ ISIL WILL KEEP HITTING IN HIT AND RUN TACTIC AND TIGER FORCE WILL… Read more »